Category Archives: Benzodiazepines and Z-drugs

Benzodiazepines mechanism of action

Benzodiazepines and GABA receptors: an animation on their mechanism of action

Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) is an inhibiting neurotransmitter that is present on human brains. As shown in the animation, gamma amino butyric acid promotes opening of a postsynaptic receptor, the GABA-A receptor.

This opening leads to a increased conductance to cloride ions, which produces membrane hiperpolarization, this induces a neuronal inhibition.

The binding of benzodiazepines to the GABA-A receptor increases the affinity of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) and its receptor, thereby increasing the opening frecuency of GABA-A receptor.As a consequence of this, benzodiazepines potentiate GABAergic neurotransmission.

Drug list:

Some of the drugs included under the benzodiazepine class are:

  • Alprazolam
  • Diazepam
  • Flurazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Midazolam
  • Oxazepam
  • Prazepam
  • Temazepam
  • Triazolam

References:

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  • Modern Pharmacology with Clinical Applications, Sixth Edition by Charles Craig
  • Principles of Pharmacology: The Pathophysiologic Basis of Drug Therapy, Second Edition
    by David E Golan

MCQs for USMLE review on psychopharmacology: antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, antidepressants and lithium

These pharmacology MCQs from the UMKC School of Medicine have a different degree of difficulty, but are useful to review pharmacology of psychotropics. Psychotropics Item Number: 11667 correct answer: 4 category: Psychotropics 1. The symptoms of tardive dyskinesia will acutely improve with: 1. administration of diphenhydramine 2. administration of amantadine 3. administration of bromocriptine 4.…Continue Reading

Risk of midazolam overdose: NHS alert

This is a rapid response report from the National Patient Safety Agency (A branch of NHS) about the risk of midazolam (Dormicum, Hypnovel, Midacum and Versed) overdose Reducing risk of overdose with midazolam injection in adults Issue Some adult patients are being overdosed with midazolam injection when used for conscious sedation. The presentation of high strength…Continue Reading

Zolpidem, zoplicone and zaleplon (z-drugs) side effects profile: Australian Prescriber press release

Hypnotic hazards and effects of z-drugs immeasurable “It is difficult to know the extent of use and adverse effects of zolpidem and other z-drugs (zopiclone and zaleplon) because they have never been listed on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, senior Sleep Disorders Physician Dr Les Olson writes in the latest edition of Australian Prescriber.Continue Reading

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